Craft

Craft, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. And by ways, I mean dishes. Super delicious dishes that fill my heart (and stomach) with happiness and keep me coming back for more! My family and I are the BIGGEST fans of Craft and we’re always excited to come back for another great meal. Tonight I’m here with my awesome hubs, sis, and bro-in-law. We are ready to stuff our faces until our plates are wiped clean. Literally. What a feast we had! Are you ready for it? Crispy Cacon, King Salmon Crudo, Wild Arugula Salad (the hubs loves this), not one but TWO bowls of Tagliatelle with Shaved White Truffles (say whaaaaat?!?), Braised Pork Shank, Roasted Amish Chicken, Orecchiette with Lamb Ragout, Gnocchi, Brussels Sprouts, AND the infamous Beef Short Ribs. Think we ordered enough?! Of course, the meal is not complete without the Sugar & Spice doughnuts (BEST EVER). My sis & her hubby never leave without devouring one order of doughnuts at the table and taking one order to go. It’s amazing. We were THRILLED that our favoritest person in the world was our server tonight, Mr. Cesar Caicedo! His genuine warmth and hospitality make every meal at Craft a truly memorable one. He’s got a great sense of humor, too! We love Cesar and the entire Craft family. Thank you for always treating us like family and feeding us the most delicious food ever!

Craft: 43 East 19th Street (between Park Avenue South and Broadway)

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Amuse bouche: Scallop with creme fraiche & caviar

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Crispy Bacon with kohlrabi & pickled cauliflower

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King Salmon with dill & horseradish

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Wild Arugula, lemon & parmesan

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Tagliatelle (before truffles)

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Cesar shaving those beautiful white truffles

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Tagliatelle & white truffles 

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Tagliatelle & white truffles, round two

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Orecchiette & lamb ragout

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Braised Pork Shank topped with brussels sprouts & pears 

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Inside that gorgeous pork shank

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Potato Gnocchi

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Roasted Amish Chicken

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts

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Braised Beef Short Rib

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Roasted Cauliflower

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Sugar & Spice Doughnuts

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Banana, Coffee, and Pumpkin Gelato

Craft

Craftbar

It’s so much fun to have dessert before dinner! Tonight I was in good company at Craftbar with some of my best high school and undergrad friends. We started off the night by ordering every dessert on the menu — I’m a big fan of Pastry Chef Abby Swain, who creates amazing desserts for both Craft and Craftbar. My absolute favorite was the PB & J Sundae — it was incredible! After a couple of hours of enjoying wine and desserts, we moved to the dining room where we sat down for a proper meal. All of those sweet got me craving something savory! The fried chicken and the veal ricotta meatballs with capellini satisfied those cravings and then some. YUM! We couldn’t resist ordering one more dessert at the end of the night — naturally, it was the PB & J Sundae. We had to bring it back for round two because it was THAT GOOD. :)  Thanks to all of my awesome friends who came out to celebrate with me. Love you ladies!

Craftbar: 900 Broadway (between East 19th & 20th Street)

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Loved this Sancerre!

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Apple Crumb Tart, Oatmeal Streusel, Cardamom Ice Cream

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PB & J Sundae (Vanilla Ice Cream, Concord Grape Jam, Peanut Butter Caramel, Honey Roasted Peanuts)

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Assorted Sorbet

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Chocolate Cheesecake, Brûléed Marshmallow, Smoked Cinnamon Ice Cream

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Milk & Cookies

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Pinot Noir makes me happy

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Veal Ricotta Meatballs & Capellini with Basil and San Marzano Tomatoes

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Buttermilk Fried Young Chicken with Cornbread, Anson Mills Grits, and Braised Greens

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Round 2: PB & J Sundae (Vanilla Ice Cream, Concord Grape Jam, Peanut Butter Caramel, Honey Roasted Peanuts)

Craftbar

Craft

In celebration of my fiancé’s birthday, I took him to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants of all time: Craft. We were thrilled that Cesar was our server once again — he always makes sure that we have an amazing experience. That night we were in luck because soft shell crabs were on the menu! Gotta have ’em.  I tried the Wagyu carpaccio for the first time and it was mind-blowing. All of the pickled accompaniments (quail eggs & white shallots) along with the crispy shallots just made this dish sing with a perfect blend of flavors and textures. The soft shell crab, which was dusted with rice flour and pan fried, was superb. We also feasted on the cod (so tender with a luxurious potato purée cream sauce) and a few of our go-to favorites: wild arugula & lemon salad, braised beef short ribs, and the potato gnocchi. These are truly three of the best things I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating. To round out the night, we enjoyed our favorite sugar & spice doughnuts, a beautiful brown butter almond cake by Pastry Chef Abby Swain, and a variety of yummy ice cream flavors (the pistachio was to die for). A million thanks to Cesar and the Craft team for yet another phenomenal meal!

Craft: 43 East 19th Street (between Park Avenue South and Broadway)

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American Wagyu Carpaccio with pickled quail eggs, pickled white shallots and crispy shallots

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Soft Shell Crab from North Carolina (dusted with rice flour)

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Wild Arugula, Lemon & Parmesan

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Cod with crispy skin and a potato puree cream sauce

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Spring Ale (fresh cucumber juice, lemon, agave, ginger ale)

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Braised Beef Short Ribs

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Close up of the amazing beef short ribs. Incredibly tender and fatty, just the way I like ’em!

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Gnocchi

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Rapini with fish fumet, garlic and arugula flowers

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Sugar & Spice Doughnuts with apricot jam and chocolate fudge

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Brown Butter Almond Cake with apricots, vermouth, and lavender ice cream

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Vanilla Bean, Coffee Caramel Swirl, and Pistachio Ice Cream

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The dining room

Craft

Topping Rose House: Winter Pig Roast (Bridgehampton, NY)

There are few things in this world that I love as much as a whole roasted pig. Naturally, when I found out that Topping Rose House was hosting a pig roast dinner in collaboration with Wolffer Estate, I jumped at the chance to attend. The three and a half hours of traffic that we hit on our way out to the Hamptons was well worth it because this event was AMAZING!!! Held in the beautiful wood barn adjacent to the restaurant, we were greeted with a glass of Wolffer Sparkling Rose as we entered. That’s what I’m talking about. For the first hour, we sampled various pork-inspired hors d’oeuvres such as housemade mortadella and head cheese as well as foie gras and lobster. The best part for me was the homemade chicharrones (crispy pork rinds) that were on the table. Oh my goodness, those were the best darn pork rinds I have ever had! They were perfectly crispy, airy, and salty. I swear, I was tempted to snatch up the pork rinds at each table and stuff them in my purse for later. I fought that urge (it was tough) and devoured all of the rinds at my table instead. Before the formal dinner began, Chef Ty Kotz brought us outside for a sneak peek of the pig, which had been roasting on an electric spit since 10am that morning! Oh yeah. Slow and low (with a burst of high heat at the end for that crispy skin) is the way to go. Our first course was an assortment of local micro greens from Good Water Farms — a light, refreshing starter that was paired nicely with Wolffer Dry Riesling. Then came the moment we were all waiting for: the pork!!! Chef Ty and his team carved up the pig and served that succulent meat family-style along with pretzel spaetzle, housemade bratwurst, Brussels sprouts & apples, and cabbage choucroute. Everything was absolutely delicious! The pork was so incredibly tender, moist, and flavorful. Two Wolffer wines, a cab and a merlot, were paired with this course. For dessert, we enjoyed rhubarb upside down cake, hazelnut brittle, and petits fours prepared by Pastry Chef Cassandra Schupp and a glass of Wolffer Diosa Late Harvest. The whole experience was unforgettable, from the food and wine to the lovely ambiance. Props to the Topping Rose team for hosting such an amazing event!

Topping Rose House: One Bridgehampton – Sag Harbor Turnpike, Bridgehampton, NY
Wolffer Estate Vineyards:139 Sagg Road, Sagaponack, NY 

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The lovely Topping Rose barn 

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The most amazing chicharrones (fried pork rinds)

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Wolffer Estate Sparkling Rose

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

Mortadella crostini

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

Foie Gras on Brioche

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Head Cheese crostini

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Sneak peek of the pig before dinner. It has been roasting since 10am!

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Executive Chef Ty Kotz and his masterpiece

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Wolffer Estate Dry Riesling

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Local Micro Greens from Good Water Farms

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It’s almost time to eat that beautiful pig!

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Wolffer Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

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Spit-roasted Whole Pig 

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Pretzel Spaetzle

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House-made Bratwurst

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Brussels Sprouts & Apples

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Cabbage Choucroute

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Wolffer Estate Diosa Late Harvest

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Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

Topping Rose House: Winter Pig Roast (Bridgehampton, NY)

Craft

A foodie friend treated me to a spectacular birthday dinner at one of my favorite restaurants of all time. Craft, I’ve missed you! From start to finish, it was such a memorable night, and we owe it all to our amazing server, Cesar, who is the captain of the dining room. I first met Cesar back in 2010 in the private event space, and he has been so good to me and everyone that I dine with ever since.  When we sat down, I was presented with a personalized menu with a birthday message — how thoughtful! Cesar poured us two glasses of a sparkling wine that was a collaboration between Lieb Cellars (in the North Fork of Long Island) and Craft restaurant. So lovely! My friend and I proceeded to enjoy a true feast over the next two hours:  caramelized onion amuse bouche (we loved it so much that Cesar brought us a second round), wild arugula with lemon and parmesan (best salad ever), hamachi with miso and sea beans (I order this every single time), marinated octopus and six minute egg (so glad that Cesar suggested this dish to us, it was incredible!), Skuna Bay salmon (perfectly cooked with super crispy skin — I’m a huge fan of Skuna Bay), potato gratin (a pot of creamy deliciousness), and the braised beef short rib (one word: Heaven). These short ribs are true perfection. And perfection requires time — which is why it takes about three days to make them. Totally worth the wait! Just when we thought we couldn’t eat another bite… out came an assortment of tasty petits fours with a birthday candle and the sugar & spice doughnuts. OMG. BEST. DOUGHNUTS. EVER. I am so appreciative and grateful to Cesar and the Craft team for an unforgettable meal and dining experience! Thank you for making my birthday so special. :)

Craft: 43 East 19th Street (between Park Avenue South and Broadway)

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Started off with a glass of sparkling wine — a collaboration between Lieb Cellars and Craft restaurant

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Amuse bouche: Caramelized Onion Soup

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Wild Arugula, Lemon, and Parmesan

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Hamachi, Miso, and Sea Beans

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Marinated Octopus and Six Minute Egg

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Love that beautiful runny yolk!

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Celery Root Agnolotti & Black Truffle

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Skuna Bay Salmon

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Potato Gratin

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Braised Beef Short Rib

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And the birthday celebrations continue!

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Sugar & Spice doughnuts with hot fudge and espresso caramel.  BEST. DOUGHNUTS. EVER.

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The dining room

Craft

Hamptons Style: Chef Ty Kotz at the James Beard House

I was so happy to find out that Executive Chef Ty Kotz of Topping Rose House was cooking at the James Beard House! I’m a big fan. The hors d’oeurves were fantastic: pulled beef short ribs, fluke ceviche, roasted beet tartare, bacon confit, and local oysters on the half shell, and we washed it all down with a beautiful sparkling wine that was a collaboration between Lieb Cellars (in the North Fork of Long Island) and Craft restaurant. We enjoyed six courses comprised of the freshest local ingredients, from Peconic Bay scallops to fried Montauk oysters, ending with a tasty apple tarte tatin with salted caramel ice cream by Pastry Chef Cassandra Schupp. After dinner, we had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with the Topping Rose team, including Chef Ty, Jessica Koenig (Beverage Manager), and Landy Labadie (Food & Beverage Director). They are all so wonderful. I found out about a whole hog roast series that will be going on over the next few months at Topping Rose — you can bet that I’ll be there! :)

James Beard House: 167 West 12th Street (between 6th and 7th Avenue)
Topping Rose House: One Bridgehampton – Sag Harbor Turnpike, Bridgehampton, NY

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Chef Ty Kotz of Topping Rose House in the Beard House Kitchen

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Fluke Ceviche with Cucumber and Lemon

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Pulled Beef Short Ribs with Horseradish and Black Pepper

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Roasted Beet Tartare with Goat’s Milk Gouda

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A special sparkling wine made especially for Craft restaurant!

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Local Oysters on the Half Shell

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Bacon Confit with Chiles and Pickles

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Peconic Bay Scallops with Pickled Cauliflower, Golden Raisins, and Pine Nuts

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Fluke with Cardoons, Carrots, Fennel, and Baby Turnips

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Roasted Tilefish with Yukon Gold and Blue Potatoes, Leeks, and Lemon

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Fried Montauk Oysters with Braised Chile Bacon, Horseradish, and Molasses Jus

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Monkfish with Heirloom Beans and Chorizo Sausage

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Apple Tarte Tatin with Salted Caramel Ice Cream

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Chef Ty Kotz chatting with the guests after dinner

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Two great chefs in the Beard House kitchen: Nimesh Maharjan (Executive Chef of Race Lane in East Hampton) and Ty Kotz (Executive Chef of Topping Rose House in Bridgehampton)

Hamptons Style: Chef Ty Kotz at the James Beard House

‘wichcraft [lunch]

I am totally loving two new ‘wichcraft sandwiches: the Zucchini & Mozzarella and the Mortadella. I first had the mortadella at ‘wichcraft’s 10th birthday celebration in Bryant Park — it blew me away! It’s intense, powerful, and not for the faint of heart. I spotted the zucchini & mozzarella sammie on the new summer menu and just knew I had to try it (zucchini is one of my all time favorite veggies). I’m now obsessed with it! The roasted zucchini and tomatoes literally melt in your mouth. Throw in the melted mozzarella and crispy grilled bread, and you’ve got a winner.

‘wichcraft: 11 East 20th Street (at Broadway)

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My two favorite ‘wichcraft sammies: Zucchini & Mozzarella and Mortadella

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Zucchini & Mozzarella with basil, parmesan, and roasted tomatoes on grilled country bread

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Zucchini & Mozzarella with basil, parmesan, and roasted tomatoes on grilled country bread

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Mortadella, robiola, pickled red onion, salsa verde, arugula, and roasted garlic puree on ciabatta

‘wichcraft [lunch]

Eat Drink BBQ: ‘wichcraft & Edible Manhattan

I had a blast at EAT DRINK BBQ in Bryant Park, hosted by ‘wichcraft and Edible Manhattan. The roasted pork was out of this world! I was in the company of other pork fanatics and a one year old who couldn’t get enough of the crispy skin. I love a girl who can eat! :)  We chowed down on several plates each of the tender, succulent pork and tasty sides, and washed it all down with crisp Q Drinks soda, Peak Organic Summer Session Ale, and Wolffer Estate wines. Bryant Park is the perfect outdoor venue in the summer for events like this. Kudos to the ‘wichcraft team — they rock!

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A platter sent from heaven

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The pork station

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Chefs at work

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I thought about dumping this whole thing into my purse. Many times. 

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Yes. Yes. Yes.

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Yummy side dishes

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Wolffer Estate Wines

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Peak Organic Brewing

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Q drinks

Eat Drink BBQ: ‘wichcraft & Edible Manhattan

Topping Rose House [brunch] (Bridgehampton, NY)

We celebrated a family member’s birthday with a lovely brunch at Topping Rose House in Bridgehampton. The whole family was there (all twelve of us) and we had a blast. From the champagne and wine that kept on flowing, to the brioche doughnuts and Topping Rose pancakes (two of my favorite TR dishes), it was a fantastic afternoon. There was so much food at the table, I didn’t get a chance to snap pics of everything, but luckily I had sampled most dishes the last time around when we first came in for brunch back in March. Topping Rose is definitely one of my go-to spots when visiting the Hamptons!

Topping Rose House: One Bridgehampton – Sag Harbor Turnpike, Bridgehampton, NY

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BRIOCHE DOUGHNUTS with Brown Butter Maple Glaze

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So light and fluffy!

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TOPPING ROSE PANCAKES with Rhubarb Compote & Maple Syrup

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MILK PAIL PINK LADY APPLES & ASIAN PEARS with Whipped Cream & Mary’s Honey

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Loved this bottle of Meursault

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TOPPING ROSE BURGER 

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MAPLE SAGE PORK SAUSAGE

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FRIED FINGERLING POTATOES

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Happy Birthday!

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This calls for some bubbly!

Topping Rose House [brunch] (Bridgehampton, NY)

‘wichcraft 10th Birthday Celebration

Cheers to ten great years! ‘wichcraft just turned 10 and celebrated in a big way with an outdoor bash at Bryant Park Grill. Chef Tom Colicchio, chef and owner of the Craft family of restaurants, was there to thank the ‘wichcraft team and toast the crowd. (I love you, Tom!) There was no shortage of tasty ‘wichcraft sandwiches, including my two faves, the smoked pork belly with cabbage slaw on a ciabatta roll and a new sammie created just for the occasion: mortadella, robiola, pickled red onion, salsa verde, arugula, and roasted garlic puree on ciabatta. (For those of you who are not familiar with mortadella, it’s Italian bologna.) AMAZING! In honor of this special day, Bombay Sapphire mixed up a couple of refreshing cocktails: the Citrus-spiced Collins and ‘Tin Shandy, which came in a cool tin cup that we got to keep! For dessert, a huge cake in the shape of the number ten was sliced up for the crowd. Such a fun event! Thank you so much, Ellen, for inviting me to be a part of the celebration. Happy 10th Birthday, ‘wichcraft — here’s to ten more!

‘wichcraft (Bryant Park): 11 West 40th Street (at 6th Avenue)

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Mortadella, robiola, pickled red onion, salsa verde, arugula, and roasted garlic puree on ciabatta

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Chef Tom Colicchio toasting the crowd — Cheers to 10 great years!

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Pork belly for days

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Smoked pork belly with cabbage slaw on ciabatta

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I love this sammie!

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It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it

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Tasty Bombay Sapphire cocktails: Citrus-spiced Collins and ‘Tin Shandy

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Happy 10th Birthday, ‘wichcraft!

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Lots of tasty treats lined up

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We got to keep these commemorative tin cups, thanks to Bombay Sapphire!

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Bryant Park Grill at night

‘wichcraft 10th Birthday Celebration